This section is from the book "Handbook Of Hardy Trees, Shrubs, And Herbaceous Plants", by W. Botting Hemsley. Also available from Amazon: Handbook of hardy trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants.
Handsome annual or perennial North American herbs. Leaves usually simple, entire, toothed, or pinnatifid. Flower-heads on long naked peduncles. Receptacle furnished with filiform "bristles between the florets. Kay-florets neuter. Achenes hairy; pappus of few membranous pointed scales. There are about six species. Named in honour of a French botanist.
1. G. aristata. - A perennial about 18 inches high. Leaves lanceolate, entire, or remotely toothed. Flower-heads about 2 inches across, normally yellow, with prominent exserted reddish styles in the rather large disk. But it has given birth to several varieties far surpassing the original in brilliancy of colouring, as, for example, grandi-flora (fig. 137), with a dark brown disk and the lower part of the ray crimson shading off into orange and bordered with yellow. Some of these varieties have probably arisen from crosses between this and the following species.
2. G. Drummondii, syn. pieta. - Also perennial, with rather larger leaves coarsely and sparsely toothed or lobed. Flower-heads crimson and yellow, larger than in the preceding. G. D. tricolor is a semi-double variety, having the rays purple at the base, white in the middle, and yellow at the tips. The familiar bicolor is referred to this species. Perhaps these and the preceding should be included under one species.
There are some other species: as, Richardsoni, brown disk and yellow ray; coronata, brown and orange-red.
Hymenoxis Califonica is a slender branching annual with glabrous pinnatifid leaves and yellow flower-heads on long slender peduncles. Receptacle paleaceous, glandular. Pappus chaffy.
The genus Helenium is composed of a few tall perennial species, natives of North America. Receptacle chaffy, between the ray-florets only. Pappus of five bristles. Involucral bracts in one series, united at the base. Ray-florets toothed at the tip. H. atropurpureum has yellow and brown flower-heads, and H. grandiflorum has them large and yellow.
Fig. 137. Gaillardia aristata, var. grandiflora. (1/4 nat. size.)
Sphenogyne speciosa is a showy South American annual of dwarf stature, bipinnatifid leaves with narrow segments, and flower-heads about 2 inches in diameter on long-slender peduncles. Bay-florets numerous, yellow; disk black. There is a variety aurea with orange rays.
Madaria elegans is an erect glandular annual about 2 feet high. Leaves linear, acute, entire. Flower-heads showy, in racemose bracteolate panicles, the terminal ones expanding first. Kay-florets numerous, deeply lobed at the extremity, yellow with a crimson-brown blotch at the base. California.
Anthemis tinctoria is a congener of our indigenous Chamomile, growing about 3 feet high. Leaves finely divided. Flower-heads numerous, bright yellow or occasionally pale yellow, or even white. Native of the South of Europe and a very profuse bloomer.